Signs you need help right away

Please call or text 9-8-8 as soon as possible, if:

  • You are having thoughts of ending your life.
  • You have thought about the steps you are going to take to end your life or made a plan.
  • You feel a loss of hope for the future, or you are experiencing emotional pain that feels hard to bear.

If you have already tried to seriously hurt yourself or end your life, please call 9-1-1 right away or go to your nearest emergency department.

If you’re not sure if you need help, please reach out to 9-8-8 – a responder will be there to listen and talk things through with you.

What can I do?

If this feels like you, you are not alone.

  • Call or text 9-8-8 any time

    It might be hard to admit that you are having thoughts of suicide – even to yourself. Remember, there is no shame in talking about suicide. A 9-8-8 responder can help you talk through your feelings and come up with steps you can take to keep yourself safe.

    Call now
  • Talk to someone you trust

    If there is someone you feel safe with, try reaching out and tell them how you are feeling. It could be a friend, a family member, an elder or a mentor.

    Learn more
  • Other ways to cope

    You can find practical tips and resources for when you are struggling on our “ways to cope” page.

    Learn more

Other signs you may be struggling

Suicidal thoughts and behaviour can show up differently depending on who you are and what you are going through.

Thoughts and feelings

  • Depressed or sad mood
  • Emotional pain
  • Anxiety or panic
  • Angry, irritable, short-tempered or full of rage
  • Overwhelmed by negative thoughts, or thinking constantly about something that is stressful
  • Agitation
  • Guilt or shame
  • Hopelessness
  • Feeling like you want to sleep and not wake up
  • Feeling confused or struggling to concentrate
  • Hearing voices, especially voices that tell you to end your life
  • Desperate or trapped, like there is no way out of your situation or as if you have no choice
  • Low self-esteem or feeling worthless
  • Thinking that others would be better off if you are dead
  • Thinking about or preoccupied with death
  • Disconnected, lonely or isolated, like there is no one who understands or no one you can reach out to or that you are not wanted or needed by others


  • Withdrawing from or avoiding activities or people
  • Struggling to communicate with others
  • Avoiding friends and loved ones
  • Using alcohol or drugs more than usual, or feeling like you need them to cope
  • Frequent crying, or showing uncontrollable agitation or anger

Physical signs

  • Feeling disconnected from your body or physically numb
  • Not being able to sleep or sleeping more than usual
  • Change in appetite
  • Feeling exhausted
  • Unbearable pain

If they don’t happen too often, some of the above signs might be a part of everyday life. But when they become more frequent, more intense, and last for longer, that can be a sign you are struggling and need help.